People magazine is at it again. On Sunday night, a prewritten obituary for Kirk Douglas, who turns 98 next week, was accidentally published with the title, "DO NOT PUB. Kirk Douglas Dies." It was taken down without apology or commentary, reports Variety.
In 1982, People magazine famously declared the death of veteran actor Abe Vigoda, from the popular '70s television show "Barney Miller," by referring to him as "the late Abe Vigoda." Whether Vigoda is alive or not has long been fodder for comedians for decades and even inspired websites such as Dead or Alive.
Rumors of Douglas's death were spread on the Internet over the summer, shortly after Douglas pledged to double a $5 million donation to the down and out on Los Angeles' Skid Row.
The accidental publication of an obituary has a long tradition. On June 2, 1897, the New York Journal declared American writer Mark Twain dead, leading him to quip, "The report of my death was an exaggeration."